Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2002
The Threatened Species Scientific Committee was established under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The Committee has continued to advise the Minister for the Environment and Heritage on the amendment and updating of the national lists for threatened species, threatened ecological communities, and key threatening processes, together with the making or adoption of recovery plans and threat abatement plans.
Five meetings have been held by the Committee in 2001-2002. They were held in July, October and December 2001, and March and June 2002. Four of these meetings were in Canberra and one in Adelaide. Highlights include:
- The new public consultation process on nominations was finalised. This process will increase the transparency of the listing process and will ensure a broader base of stakeholders are able to access information regarding nominations under consideration. All new nominations are available on the Department of the Environment and Heritage website for a two month public submission period.
- Administrative guidelines and information sheets have also been developed to improve consultation with stakeholders and to inform stakeholders of the implications of listing threatened species and ecological communities.
The Committee has produced the following key documents in the last year:
- TSSC Procedures Manual - The Manual aims to ensure that the Committee’s processes are transparent, and to provide information on the role of the Committee and its members. Copies of the Guidelines used by the Committee for Nominations and Recovery Plans, and the processes for listing amendments, registering critical habitat and adopting plans are also included.
- A strategic framework for the assessment of nationally threatened woodlands across Australia was developed and implemented by the TSSC.
- Workplan - a dynamic document outlining the outputs required of the Committee and progress towards these outputs.
- A Framework for Multi-Species Multi-Community Landscape Based Conservation Investments by the Commonwealth.
Advice on the amendment and updating of the lists of threatened species, threatened ecological communities, and key threatening processes
In 2001-2002 there were 64 nominations for threatened species, 4 nominations for threatened ecological communities and 2 nominations for key threatening processes received under the Act.
The Threatened Species Scientific Committee finalised their advice to the Minister on 121 species nominations, 19 ecological community nominations and 4 key threatening process nominations. This resulted in 49 amendments to the list of threatened species, no amendments to the list of ecological communities, and one addition to the list of key threatening processes.
Provision of advice from the 9th, 10th and 11th Threatened Species Scientific Committee meetings to the Minister have been deferred for 79 threatened species advices, 10 ecological communities and 4 key threatening processes. This has been a consequence of the caretaker period for the Federal election in 2001 and the development of a new public consultation process. Extensions for these nominations have been sought and agreed to by the Minister.
|Group||Listed at 30/6/01||Nominations received||Prelim Advice to TSSC||Listing advice||Minister decisions||List Change||Listed at 30/6/02|
|Final Committee recommendations||Advice to the Minister|
(includes 1 reject)
* Anomalies in the data can be attributed to the continuing assessment of nominations that occurs across financial years.
** 2 new additions, 2 uplist (ie no net additions) and the Grey Nurse listing split into 2 populations (i.e. 1 net addition) = 3 additions to the list.
*** 5 new listings, 1 delist (ie 4 net changes) and 30 uplistings, 1 downlisting.
In 2001-02 the Committee considered 24 draft recovery plans and one key threatening process nomination.
It has provided advice to the Minister on the:
- adoption of 24 Recovery Plans, and
- listing of a key threatening process with a recommendation that a Threat Abatement Plan (TAP) was a feasible, effective and efficient way to abate the threatening process.
This has resulted in the adoption of 24 recovery plans, and the initiation of a TAP for the key threatening process 'Predation, habitat degradation, competition and disease transmission by feral pigs'.
Over the past year the Threatened Species Scientific Committee has considered a range of issues papers including critical habitat listing, landscape approaches to conservation, the future of recovery planning, and revision of the recovery plan guidelines.
The Threatened Species Scientific Committee is committed to taking a consultative and educative approach to its role and responsibilities. The Committee continues to build relationships with State Agencies, Threatened Species Committees, individuals and organisations which provide expertise to the listing process, and those affected by or interested in listing decisions, such as non-government organisations, community and industry groups.
All State Agencies and Committees have been contacted and provided with information regarding the role of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee, and have been sent the revised guidelines and Committee procedures manual.
In October 2001 representatives of the ACT Flora and Fauna Committee and Environment ACT met with the Committee. There was an exchange of information about the role of the respective Committees, their legislative requirements and assessment processes for the listing of ecological communities.
The June 2002 Committee meeting was held in Adelaide, in order to liaise with representatives of South Australian State agencies, non-government organisations and other stakeholders. The priorities for listing and recovery of threatened species at the National and South Australian level was discussed as part of this meeting.